Founder and President of the Western Native Tree Society
My career started in as a pre-Forestry community college student
working for the BLM as a Forestry Aid (GS-3) with BLM in Eastern Oregon,
and with a few exceptions (as material coordinator/pipefitter supervisor
with Fluor Engineers and Constructors, in Saudi Arabia) I stayed the
course with federal land management agencies through retirement last
year as a GS-12 program manager, with the National Park Service, Grand
Canyon National Park, AZ.
My education started early on pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree
in Forest Resources Management, which I completed at Humboldt State
University in 1983.
nearly a decade with the USFS, I was encouraged to pursue my Master of
Science degree in Forestry with University of Massachusetts, at Amherst,
where I specialized in Remote Sensing of Old-growth Forests, and
successfully defending thesis in 1993.
Returning to the West (Arizona/Alaska), I developed skills in GIS
that eventually led to Fire Area Growth Simulation, to model wildfire
growth. With additional studies at Northern Arizona in Ecological
Restoration, I obtained NEPA compliance for, and completed Wildfire
Hazard Reduction Research project at Grand Canyon National Park. At my
retirement from Grand Canyon, I was Vegetation Program Manager
(Developed Area). Since retiring in 2007, I’ve continued participation
with ENTS/WNTS, the Cook Inlet Chapter of SAF, and am Alaska’s Big Tree
In my spare
time, I’m an apprentice Beer Judge, and actively pursue excellence in
Anchorage’s world-class brewing venues.
Don Bertolettes Early Days in Forestry June 2008
Michael W. Taylor
Vice-President of the Western Native Tree Society, is now the
American Forests champion tree coordinator for California.
Michael W. Taylor is a leading
discoverer of champion and tallest trees - most notably Coast
Redwoods. In 2006, Michael co-discovered the tallest known tree
in the world, a coast redwood (sequoia) now named "Hyperion". He
also discovered "Helios" and "Icarus", the 2nd and 3rd tallest.
National Geographic made a video about the discovery and
measuring of Hyperion. The discovery made headlines. Taylor
has discovered 50 coast redwoods over 350 feet tall, and
co-discovered approximately 100 more over 350 feet with Chris
Atkins and Stephen Sillett, who is the first holder of the
Kenneth L. Fisher Chair in Redwood Forest Ecology at Humboldt
State University. Taylor and Sillett have collaborated and
measured remarkable previously unknown redwoods. Their
discoveries have fueled research and public interest in coast
redwoods, which are now a World Heritage Site. Michael is a
main character of the non-fiction book (2007) The Wild Trees.
The narrative includes how Taylor began exploring for tall
trees, measuring tallest trees, and later networking with
Pacific coast forest researchers.